Ready, Set, . . .

IMG_6783This afternoon we checked into the Children’s Hospital and went through the steps to get ready for tomorrow. Brennen is always asking the nurses lots of questions. He has strong opinions on the types of needles he likes and doesn’t like to access his mediport. He watches  the blood pressure monitor intently, and enjoys helping the nurse fill the vials for his blood work.

It was good to see his blood results because his ANC (ability to fight off infection) continues to climb. We were to have started this treatment 2 weeks ago but have needed to hold of due to it not being over 750. Today it was over 1,000 and it hasn’t been that high for over 2 weeks.

IMG_4189This evening, Brennen ate all his dinner and then was still hungry so while we were waiting for some more food to come I was reading to him. Just a couple minutes into reading I looked over and realized he was fast asleep. It wasn’t much of a surprise that he was that tired because he didn’t fall asleep until after 1:00 this morning, didn’t sleep, was up early, and didn’t take a nap. It has been clear that this week has been on his mind. It was good to pray with him and put our concerns at the Lord’s feet.

Thank you to everyone who is praying. It has been a blessing to see many familiar names, some people we haven’t seen in years, and others we’ve never met. I love sharing the names with Brennen. It’s a great testimony to him of how we can pray to our amazing God for one another.

“Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints” (Ephesians 6:18)

Here’s some more details for tomorrow (Tuesday):

  • Midnight – Fluids to get his PH where needed.
  • 10:00a – Procedure while sedated to put chemo is spine.
  • 1:00p – Begin 24-hour infusion of chemo

We Need Your Help

We have been so thankful over these past few months of Brennen’s treatment for all the people who have asked, “How can we help?” Many have graciously provided gift cards for gas, meals, chicken broth, kombucha, and almonds. Each of those things have been a big encouragement as we’ve walked this journey God has set for us.

Jenny and I would like to ask for your help over the next few days. Our greatest need is prayer. Brennen’s levels are up high enough and tomorrow he will be admitted to Children’s Hospital for chemotherapy. This next round, existing of 4 impatient treatments lasting 4-5 days each, is a very intense time and tends to have major side effects.

Recently, Jenny and I have been challenged with how easy it is to go to God in prayer and act as if He no power to act, as if He is a false idol. Dan Horn, a pastor, said last Sunday in a sermon on Isaiah,

“The question is, “Do we pray like we’re praying to an idol?” “Do we pray like we say these things but we have no expectation that they will come to pass?” We have no expectation that God has the power to do things. That’s an abomination before God.”

God IS mighty and able to do beyond what I can think or imagine. Yet, I often don’t approach Him that way in prayer. The prophet Daniel displayed the attitude that we need to have in praying to God when he wrote,

O my God, incline your ear and hear. Open your eyes and see our desolations, and the city that is called by your name. For we do not present our pleas before you because of our righteousness, but because of your great mercy. O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive. O Lord, pay attention and act. Delay not, for your own sake, O my God, because your city and your people are called by your name.” (Daniel 9:18-19 ESV)

We are asking that you would join us by committing to pray for 15 minutes each day, Monday-Saturday this week. Would you consider signing up for a specific time? We want to see people praying around the clock for Brennen. CLICK HERE to sign up for a specific time and remember to pray each day.

Some specific prayer requests are:

  • That God will graciously protect Brennen this coming week from the harsh chemo.
  • That God will spare Brennen from nausea, vomiting, and mouth sores that often accompany this chemo.
  • That God will give Brennen the strength to eat good food that will continue to support his strength.
  • That God will give Brennen patience as he is in the hospital.
  • That God will use this chemo as a means to remove the Leukemia.
  • That God will give Jenny and I patience as we walk through this with Brennen.
  • That God will help protect the other kids attitudes as Jenny and I are coming and going.
  • That God will open Brennen’s eyes to the truth of the Gospel this week (the Passion Week).

Here’s an estimated timeline of the week:

  • Monday – Brennen is admitted to the hospital.
  • Tuesday – Midnight – begins fluids.
  • Tuesday – Morning – Sedated for procedure to put chemo in his spine.
  • Tuesday – Noon – Begin 24-hour infusion.
  • Wednesday – Noon – End 24-hour infusion.
  • Begins to receive medication to protect his organs and tissue.
  • Blood tests every 6 hours.
  • Thursday-Friday – When mouth sores tend to be present.
  • Released from hospital when chemo levels are below 0.1% (Estimated to be Saturday).

We will try to give some updates this week to keep you informed. Again, would you please consider committing to pray for 15-minutes each day? CLICK HERE to sign up.

Thank you for praying to our Heavenly Father for Brennen!

Slowly Rising

Last Monday we went to Fresno for the beginning of Brennen’s next phase of treatment but his counts had dropped from 1300 to 260 (at least 750 was needed to start). So, we came home to wait for them to rise.

We took advantage of the week by going out and playing 8 holes of golf. He can’t be in very public places due to low levels but getting some excercise in the beautiful outdoors is great. 🙂

Brennen went back last Friday for another blood test and his levels had only come up to 300 so we knew weren’t headed to Fresno this week.

Tomorrow, he goes to San Luis Obispo for another blood test to see if we can consider starting his treatment on Monday.

Doctors have told us that the only thing we can do is keep giving him a good diet and healthy. We know that the Lord had in His plan that we needed these extra two weeks and we are thankful.

Please continue to pray that God will bring Brennen’s levels up and allow us to start on Monday. This next phase is a big one and when we know when it’s happening I’ll give you and update.


Still Smiling

The past week has felt a bit like a roller coaster. From our perspective, Brennen has been looking good with lots of strength and energy. He has been riding his bike and hiking like he always has.

Last Monday he went in for a simple chemo in San Luis Obispo but his hemoglobin was low and was in need of a blood transfusion. What we thought was a quick “3-hour tour” turned into two separate trips for chemo and then a blood transfusion. 🙂

Monday, Brennen was scheduled to start a new and very challenging phase of chemo which would have been 4-5 days in the hospital. Unfortunately, his levels have dropped from last week and were not high enough to start this chemo treatment.

It’s clear that Brennen’s body needs a rest from the chemo and God has other things in store for us this week.

Through these unexpected events I’m grateful that Brennen continues to smile and bring joy to all the doctors and staff of the hospitals and clinic he visits.